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PacNet #7 – Constitutional Revision: No Longer If, But When

When former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro ran in the first Lower House election held under the postwar
Constitution in 1947, he drove around his Gunma district on a bicycle with a flag stuck up from his back just like a samurai going into battle. The slogan on the flag called for jishu kempo, or rejection of the constitution that had been handed down by the U.S. Occupation a few months earlier. But during a political career that spanned more than five decades, his idea – the reason he sought office – never came up in the Diet for discussion, much less for a vote. For half a century, it was an outlandish dream, tucked deep inside the heads of conservative politicians who remembered the days when Japan was a power with which to be reckoned.